Elizabeth was raising two tadpoles under the watchful eye of Master Yoda in a frog habitat at work. When tragedy struck and one of the tadpoles suffered an early death, Elizabeth e-mailed a plea for help to the company that made the habitat, Uncle Milton. Her efforts resulted in the shipment of a new tadpole and a wonderfully funny and geeky e-mail exchange, which she shared with the world on her Livejournal.
For Christmas, I got a Dagobah Frog Habitat and I set it up at work with two tadpoles.
Last week, disaster struck when one of my tadpoles died. I wrote the company, Uncle Milton, to see what could be done.
Dear Uncle Milton,
On Christmas morning, I got the toy I wanted MOST – the Dagobah Frog Habitat. I waited until mid-January to order the tadpoles because I was worried that the weather wasn’t quite right for tadpole shipment. In preparation for their arrival, I bought the required bottled spring water and turkey baster, and endured weird looks from the checkout lady at the grocery store (the mints I was buying didn’t help).
On the day of their arrival, I could hardly contain my excitement! I was so delighted that I shared the details of their “birth” (the transition from their shipping containers to their habitat) with my friends on Twitter and Facebook. I lost a couple of friends that day because of my gory descriptions of the birthing process, but it was worth it – these tadpoles mean the world to me! My coworkers came by my desk each hour to inquire on the status of our new babies. We decided on names: the girl was Stegosaurus and the boy is Pterodactyl. We felt these were appropriate names, given their unique and beautiful plumage that one can only compare to dinosaurs of the past.
Parents of unruly children were envious of my babies – prepubescent Stegosaurus and Pterodactyl were happily swimming away the days, concentrating their studies on becoming full-grown, healthy frogs. Unfortunately, disaster struck this morning when my coworkers and I discovered that one of them has passed from this world and gone to heaven. At first, I was hopeful that she was just resting on her back, but after a couple of pokes with the turkey baster and calling her “Polly,” it was confirmed: Stegosaurus is stone dead.
I am distraught. As one coworker put it, Stegosaurus has gone “tap to toilet.” I don’t know what that means, but it accurately describes my feelings about her untimely passing. I’m not sure what to do now, so I’m hoping you can counsel me.
1) Is there a way I can get an additional tadpole sent to me for free, since this one has bought the farm? I know no other tadpole can replace Stegosaurus, but I am concerned that Pterodactyl might endure mental anguish over the loss of his pod-mate, and might jump out of the habitat to end his own life if left alone for too long. If possible, I’d love to have a tadpole that was born on or near the date of Pterodactyl. I’ve always wanted to have twins.
2) If a replacement is unavailable, can I get a refund? I know it’s heartless to talk about expenses right after someone has expired, but if I’m being realistic, I paid good money for a tadpole that only lived for two weeks in my possession. I followed the directions religiously – as an animal lover and someone who rescues raccoons from their imminent deaths, I know how to care for a tadpole and I feel as though this terrible experience should not taint my checking account.
3) My coworker suggested I nail Stegosaurus to the habitat land so that, when Pterodactyl is old enough to hop, he can still see his friend. Is this okay? Do you sell any tadpole-sized crypts? If they’re out of stock, what do you suggest I do with the deceased tadpole?
Thank you for your email regarding your tadpoles. We are very sorry that Stegosaurus did not make it and would be happy to send either a replacement (though we understand no one could ever truly replace her) or an $8.00 refund. Please just let us know your mailing address and which you would prefer.
Please note: If a replacement is significantly different in size than Pterodactyl, the larger may mistake the smaller for food. You can put the smaller in a temporary makeshift habitat using a bowl with holes poked in the lid, and adding 1-2 inches of water and a rock or gravel incline until they are about the same size to prevent this.
Regarding tadpole-sized crypts, unfortunately, at this point we do not offer such supplies. Though we never like to hear that any of our little tadpoles have not made it, we are always grateful for the opportunity to expand our product line. That being said, we will forward your suggestion for a new line addressing the post-mortem needs of our tadpole customers. In the interim, we suggest disposing of Stegosaurus’ body outside of the habitat as the presence of an expired tadpole can cause natural bacteria too grow.
Please feel free to email us or call our toll free consumer services line at (888) 742-2484 if you have any further questions.
Uncle Milton Industries
And my response back:
I appreciate your prompt response. My grieving heart has found solace in the fact that a stranger cares about my beloved tadpoles and me.
My heart still aches for Stegosaurus, but I know she would want me to go on with my life. Therefore, I would love a second tadpole. Please tell your uncle to send one to my work address, so that I may begin the healing process as soon as possible.
Although I am an avid fan of Jonathan Swift, I will take the size of the new tadpole into consideration before letting him/her befriend Pterodactyl. I do not want the blood of another dead aquatic lifeform on my hands.
If you feel the shipment needs to be delayed based on the weather, please feel free to do that. I’d much rather have a healthy tadpole than an unhealthy one due to our cold snap. I would like to request that my new baby gets shipped before pollen season begins, as I’ve read recent studies that pollen allergies are common in tadpoles and have the terrible side-effect of stunting their growth.
Thank you for caring,
I’m impressed with their high level of customer service. I can’t wait for my new tadpole to arrive!